Balance

Back to the Productivity Dictionary

a. Not falling over.

b. A good excuse for not wholeheartedly pursuing whatever it is you really love.

c. Important if you are an acrobat, trapeze artist, tightrope walker, unicyclist.

d. Maybe not as important as we think it is for everyone else.

e. A thing you might have to sacrifice to live a life that matters, a life that you love and enjoy and find fulfilling.

You know what’s easy to balance? A light load. If your life isn’t worth but a couple of ounces, you can shift things around pretty easily in that bundle and balance it across your shoulders.

But when your life is full and rich, it can get heavy. It can get tough to balance. Things can get a little off-kilter. You can get worn out carrying what you’re worth when you’re worth a lot.

f. A vague, arbitrary idea which becomes a needless source of stress and anxiety.

Are you reading articles about work/life balance?

Are you rearranging your calendar so you can fit in personal time, family time, work time, social time, church time, exercise time, reading time, personal development time, hobby time, sports time, relaxation time, and Ice-Capades-Championship-Viewing time?

Oh, look at that, you just scheduled your important work right into the metaphorical calendar-dumpster.

Pursuing a balanced life is a great way to not ever spend significant time on what you actually care about the most.

Have work you want to do? Projects that light you on fire but take a lot of time and energy?

You have to throw some stuff straight out the window and not even look to see where it hits the ground and what kind of splat it makes on the sidewalk.

You have to let your ambition drive you and quit trying to be the mythical, over-achieving, well-rounded, generally-doing-great-in-every-area, selfie-perfect, balanced person.

This person does not exist.

If this person did exist, I probably wouldn’t like them very much.

How about instead of worrying about balance, you just focus on doing the thing you need to do right now? And if your work gets interrupted, say, by your small child, that’s okay. Go with it. Have a snuggle, eat a meal with your family, go on a walk. Then come back home, tuck your child in to bed, and get some more work done.

If you quit worrying about balancing everything, you’ll be able to accomplish more. You’ll also be able to rest more. Because you won’t be spending time pursuing random items which have been designated of importance but which have nothing, really, to do with your inner workings, your real being, your interests or heartbeat or joy in life.

Let that shit go.

What random, culture-created measurement of a balanced life can you throw out the window?

What’s the work you love? Remember it? Buried under your schedule? Pull it back out again.

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The price of action

There is a difference between striving for excellence and striving for perfection. The first is attainable, gratifying, and healthy. The second is unattainable, frustrating, and neurotic. It is also a terrible waste of time.

– Edwin Bliss
Imperfect progress realized is better than perfection imagined.

A perfectly imagined work of art is useless until it exists outside of your head. And outside of your head it won’t be… Continue reading

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